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Experts: N.C. Should Ride Out Recession

Posted March 17, 2008

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— As the U.S. economy sinks into recession, North Carolina appears to be treading the turbulent economic waters better than most states, according to economic observers.

"We're going to participate in this recession. The point is, I think we're going to probably do better than many other states," said Mike Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University.

The housing and financial downturns hurt, Walden said, but he doesn't sense the volatility of other markets.

"Lenders are scared, and they want to make sure that, if they make loans, they're solid investments," he said. "We look good on the basis of that."

The current economic turmoil is different than in 2001, when the Internet stock bubble burst and many technology companies crashed, observers said.

Manufacturers also took a hit as the U.S. economy contracted seven years ago. Now, because of the weak dollar and increased exports, many manufacturers are holding their own, observers said.

"The way I've phrased it before is (that) we'll get skinned, but not killed," North Carolina Commissioner of Banks Joe Smith said. "We may have a slowdown, a slowness of earnings. Some loans will go bad, but we'll get through all that."

Smith said Charlotte-based Bank of America and Wachovia, two of the nation's largest banks, would likely be tighter with loans in the coming months, but would survive.

"Most of the events that we're seeing in the press ... do not relate to North Carolina-based institutions," he said.

Dan Moore, the owner of R.W. Moore, a Garner construction equipment dealer, said his family business has gotten through economic ups and downs for 45 years.

"If (the economy is) going up, we're going up. If it's going down, we're riding it down," Moore said.

Sales at R.W. Moore are down 10 to 15 percent, which Moore said is bad but not disastrous.

"We're starting to feel a little uncertainty in the market," he said. He added, however, "No matter what we're dealing with, its worse (elsewhere)."

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  • penny for your thoughts Mar 18, 2008

    SingleLensReflex, I agree that gas is extremely high while big oil companies make BILLIONS, and of course that's bad - SHAME ON THEM! However, there is a shame on us consumers who drive gas guzzelers (sorry if I can't spell!) and the like. I drive a scooter to work and we're looking to buy a hybrid to replace our van. If consumers looked at alternatives to cut our oil dependence, we'd all be better off!

  • NCMOMof3 Mar 18, 2008

    Recession, depression, times of plenty. Evidently I'm so poor none of those terms apply to me. I've always just kept on like always.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Mar 18, 2008

    4tarheels, LOL!

    Recession, what recession? I though our beloved President said again just yesterday that everything is just dandy. That's good to know - I'll keep it in mind when I'm putting $40+ into my mid-sized car.

  • 215born910raised Mar 18, 2008

    it's more like "depression"

  • whatusay Mar 18, 2008

    WOW...all we can do is "ride out the recession". What else can we do, what other alternatives do we have? If there is anything else I can do I would like to be enlightened. Beam me up scotty I'm ready.

  • 4tarheels Mar 17, 2008

    "NC should ride out recession."

    Wow, what a relief. What about those states that don't, will they dissolve or something.

    New headline: "Virginia not expected to survive. N.C. acquires in hostile takeover."

  • JustAGuyInNC Mar 17, 2008

    must be the same experts who said NC wasn't affected by the real estate down-turn....yet several months later, here we are with record foreclosures.

  • Supie Mar 17, 2008

    well isn't this nice? meanwhile gas prices are soaring driving up the price of everyday life neccessities while gas companies report "record breaking" quarters with Billions of dollars in pure profit. Its like America is being held hostage. There is no competition allowed to drive down the prices. Isn't that against the free-market ideals?